Wednesday, 20 June 2012

Tired of waiting for that US Box office hit to hit your local theatre? Why not..

In light of the previous post (see below) where I remarked on many of the readers of musicpiracyresearchblog being unable to access the articles cited previously, it's time to take a dive into movie piracy. Why? You can access a full article on movie piracy here.

Discussed elsewhere, the paper by Danaher and Waldfogel explains how they successfully employed a statistical analysis of primary data on Box office returns to demonstrate that the staggered release strategy employed by the movie industry (where Hollywood movies are typically released in USA first) encourages illegal downloading.

The paper explains three principal reasons why this approach is adopted, where elsewhere George Lucas has went on record to explain that simultaneously releasing films in cinemas and to buy on DVD/Blu-Ray would satisfy different audiences.

The focus of this blog is of course music piracy, where it is the industry which is thought to be affected the most - a likely bi-product of the much smaller file sizes of individual songs as compared to movies. Much can be learned from related research on movie piracy, however.

In this particular instance, it is also learned that movies in the action and sci-fi genre are over-represented in pirate form, where an assumption flowing on from here would be that such genres are enjoyed more by males. This would fit with research on piracy overall, which suggests young males to be the principal advocates of piracy.

Do you think it's time to abandon this staggered approach to releasing films?

Also, while we are on the subject of movie piracy, find below a TED Talk presentation (mentioned in the last post) about 'copyright math' which expresses the difficulties in measuring economic losses through piracy.

Twitter feed now live @musicpiracyblog with daily updates.


Article cited above is a working paper at time of blog post. Both authors have personal web pages, where it is encouraged you contact them ahead of any formal citations of their research.

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